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Top 10 Top Ten Fuel Efficient 2007 SUVs and Crossovers

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Gas prices show no signs of falling. In fact, a new record high seems to hit every week. What is an SUV owner supposed to do? If you need an SUV for all the right reasons -- space, comfort, looks and fun -- do you now have to abandon your SUV for a sedan or a wagon?

No -- you might just have to find a more fuel efficient SUV. There are plenty of fun, efficient SUVs and crossover vehicles on the market. Here's a roundup of the Top Ten models for Model Year 2007, according the EPA:

1. 2007 Ford Escape Hybrid

Front Wheel Drive: 36 city/31 highway

Four Wheel Drive: 32 city/29 highway

For a premium of about $3,400 over a comparably equipped gas-only Escape, Ford's Escape Hybrid delivers class-leading fuel economy and high tech hybrid performance. A few years ago, you had to figure on driving over a decade to save enough money on fuel to pay for the hybrid option; now you can recoup the cost before the term of your car loan expires.

2005 Ford Escape Hybrid Test Drive and Review

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2. 2007 Mercury Mariner Hybrid

Offered as a premium alternative to the more pedestrian Ford Escape Hybrid, the Mercury Mariner Hybrid is powered by the same gas-electric hybrid powerplant and offers an upgraded level of standard trim and luxury features.

2006 Mercury Mariner Hybrid Test Drive and Review

2006 Mercury Mariner Hybrid Photo Gallery

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3. 2007 Lexus RX 400h

Base price: $41,180 - $42,580

Front Wheel Drive: 32 city/27 highway

Four Wheel Drive: 31 city/27 highway

Is there such a thing as economy without compromise? The Lexus RX 400h comes close. You can load up your hybrid Lexus with a ton of luxury options, and you'll still get amazing fuel efficiency and kick-in-the-pants acceleration on demand when the electric motor joins the fun.

2007 Lexus RX 400h Test Drive and Review

2007 Lexus RX 400h Photo Gallery

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4. 2007 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Base price: $23,490 - $36,550

Front Wheel Drive: 32 city/27 highway

Four Wheel Drive: 31 city/27 highway

With its practical styling, no-nonsense attitude and great utility, the Highlander Hybrid is a true mainstream vehicle. Offered in two trim levels (Base and Limited), Highlander can be decked out with leather, three rows of seating, all-wheel drive and a navigation system, approaching Lexus levels of luxury and prices.

2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Test Drive and Review

2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Photo Gallery

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5. 2007 Saturn Vue Green Line (Hybrid)

Base price: $22,370

Front Wheel Drive: 27 city/32 highway

The most affordable hybrid gas-electric SUV on the market, the Saturn Vue Green Line is surprisingly refined and pleasant to drive. Critics have carped that the Green Line's hybrid is "mild" -- it won't run exclusively on electric power at low speeds like the Toyota-derived system -- but it's hard to argue with the combination of capacity and efficiency.

2007 Saturn Vue Green Line Preview Photo Gallery

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6. 2007 Jeep Compass

Base price: $15,425 - $21,925

Front Wheel Drive: 26 city/30 highway (MT); 24 city/27 highway (CVT)

Four Wheel Drive: 25 city/29 highway (MT); 23 city/26 highway (CVT)

The Jeep Compass is the smallest of the Jeep lineup, and the most fuel efficient. It still retains a bit of the Jeep heritage and off-road prowess, but if you're looking for a genuine mud-whomper, you have to look further up in the lineup. The Compass shares a frightfully large percentage of its parts with the Dodge Caliber.

2007 Jeep Compass Limited 4x4 Test Drive and Review

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7. 2007 Jeep Patriot

Base price: $14,425 - $21,430

Front Wheel Drive: 24 city/27 highway

Four Wheel Drive: 23 city/26 highway

Jeep claims that the Patriot is the "most capable vehicle in its class," and they may be right. Extremely capable off-road when equipped with the "Freedom Drive" package of enhancements, the Patriot is roomy and rugged, a possible fuel-efficient replacement for that aging Wrangler or Cherokee in your driveway.

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8. 2007 Toyota RAV4

Base price: $20,950 - $26,520

Front Wheel Drive: 24 city/30 highway

Four Wheel Drive: 23 city/27 highway

A favorite since its introduction in 1996, RAV4 got a makeover for 2006. The former cute-ute is now all grown up, with a refined ride and features. Some less than lovely plastic betrays the price point of the build, but an overall solid, Toyota-like vehicle that delivers good fuel economy along with good performance.

2007 Toyota RAV4 Test Drive and Review

2007 Toyota RAV4 Photo Gallery

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9. 2007 Honda CR-V

Base price: $20,600 - $28,000

Front Wheel Drive: 23 city/30 highway

Four Wheel Drive: 22 city/28 highway

An excellent vehicle and a great value, the Honda CR-V is possibly the best compact SUV on the market today. Redesigned for 2007, CR-V is a thoroughly refined vehicle that delivers great utility, comfort and performance in an attractive, fuel efficient package. Tough to beat.

2007 Honda CR-V Test Drive and Review

2007 Honda CR-V Photo Gallery

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10. 2007 Saturn Vue

Base price: $17,475 - $23,710

Front Wheel Drive (manual five-speed) : 23 city/29 highway

Front Wheel Drive (automatic): 22 city/27 highway

All Wheel Drive (V6 automatic): 19 city/25 highway

Squeaking in under the wire with a manual transmission is the Saturn Vue. In its last year of production before a makeover, the Vue is a pleasantly appointed vehicle with good space and utility and a surprisingly supple ride. All-wheel drive is only available with the larger V6 engine, substantially impacting fuel economy.

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